Joint Attention Intervention for Caregivers and their Children with Autism
University of California, Los Angeles
With roughly 500,000 children meeting the criteria for ASD in the U.S., and many of them remaining severely impaired despite treatment, services for autism are a significant public health issue. Dr. Kasari is currently conducting two randomized controlled trials to test new interventions for young children with autism. One is evaluating peer interaction interventions in the highly-diverse Los Angeles public schools. The other is beginning to evaluate interventions designed for toddlers and their mothers. The diversity of these settings will allow Dr. Kasari's fellow to develop a more nuanced understanding of ASD and the science of intervention research. The fellow will be involved in developing and implementing the randomized controlled trial of toddlers with ASD and their mothers, providing invaluable training for developing future high quality trials. Finally, access to already completed data sets will allow the fellow to begin analyzing, writing, and publishing new findings immediately. What this means for people with autism: The quick education and training of intervention science researchers will allow novel and more effective treatments for autism to be put into use sooner rather than later.